Published On: Tue, Jan 6th, 2009

The History Of Three Kings Day

Saludos… As a Boricua, I have recently began to miss one of the great traditions of my childhood…Dia De Los Reyes. Now I know that many Latinos in the US, primarily 2nd and 3rd Generation do not observe this holiday…but I felt it important enough to share with those that remember, hoping that they will not let Santa be the only thing our children look forward to on during las fiestas navidenas. The art featured in this post is that of Olga Ayala, please support her by visiting her link and buying some of the beautiful work she creates. Felicidades este Dia de los Reyes!

As I am,

George Torres

The Urban Jibaro.


3kingThree Kings Day (source Wikipedia) In Spain, Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico and some other Latin American countries Epiphany day is called El Día de los Reyes (The Day of the Kings). The day when a group of Kings or Magi of the Bible arrived to worship and bring three gifts to the baby Jesus after following a star in the heavens. This day is sometimes known as the Día de los Tres Reyes Magos (The day of the Three Royal Magi) or La Pascua de los Negros (Holy Day of the Blackmen) in Chile, although the latter is rarely heard. In Spanish tradition, on the day of January 6th, three of the Kings: Melchor, Caspar, and Balthazar, representing Europe, Arabia, and Africa, arrived on horse, camel and elephant, bringing respectively gold, frankincense and myrrh to the baby Jesus. In Spain, Argentina, and Uruguay, children (and many adults) polish and leave their shoes ready for the Kings’ presents before they go to bed on 5 January. Sweet wine, nibbles, fruit and milk are left for the Kings and their camels. In Mexico, it is traditional for children to leave their shoes on the eve of January 6 by the family nativity scene or by their beds. Also a letter with toy requests is left and sometimes the shoes are filled with hay for the camels, so that the Kings will be generous with their gifts. In Puerto Rico, it is traditional for children to fill a box with grass or hay and put it underneath their bed, for the same reasons. In some parts of northern Mexico the shoes are left under the Christmas tree with a letter to the Three Kings. This is analogous to children leaving mince pies or cookies and milk out for Father Christmas in Western Europe. In the afternoon or evening of the same day the ritual of the Rosca de Reyes is shared with family and friends. The Rosca is a type of sweet-bread made with orange blossom water and butter, and decorated with candied fruit. Baked inside is a small doll representing the baby Jesus. The person who finds the doll in his piece of rosca must throw a party on February 2nd, “Candelaria Day,” offering tamales and atole (a hot sweet drink thickened with corn flour) to the guests. In Spain, the bread is known as Roscón; made with the same items, traditionally the roscón was simply a round sweetbread with candied fruit on top, however, recently, different flavoured whipped creams are used as filling. The ‘Jesus’ doll evolved into a small toy similar to a Kinder Surprise it also includes a bean. The person who gets the toy is then crowned king for the day, while the person who finds the bean is responsible for paying for the Roscon.


Read more about Olga Ayala here on Sofrito For Your Soul! Nuestra Arte: Hecho A Mano con Olga Ayala BUY FROM HER LIMITED COLLECTION OF MINI REYES!!!! or you can contact her at:


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The History Of Three Kings Day